‘Agile’ is more than Scrum

Most people use agile and scrum interchangeably. It’s often not even clear what the difference is. So last week during our Jakarta scrum meetup, organized at Happy Fresh, we decided to find out. We did a group study on some different agile concepts (Kanban, Lean & Lean startup, XP, Scrum, Agile). The experiment was organized using multiple scrum teams and sprints. We had an area product owner: Pepe. And we had 5 teams. Each team self selected a product owner and selected one agile framework. Each team had to discuss and research the framework and make a presentation. The big challenge for the area product owner was to combine all these presentations into 1 storyline. This overall presentation had to be done for the management of ‘Pt. Stuck in waterfall’. Here’s a more detailed description of the setup, the chaos that evolved and the positive result.

The Setup

We were all working for the enterprise ‘PT. Stuck in Waterfall’. Top management had requested a presentation on the application of various agile concepts for their company. They want to start a big agile transformation, but they want to be well informed which concepts could fit, how they all fit together and in what priority they should roll out the agile concepts. They’ve selected one person as the leader of this research/presentation phase. He has authority to engage as many people as he needs to get the information.

We self-organized teams of 4-6 people. Each team picks an agile concept (lean startup, kanban, design sprint, scrum, etc).

Our end product was a presentation on how the agile concepts can be used to transform the company towards more agility. We had an area product owner who was responsible for this end product. Each team had a product owner, responsible for the teams’ product: a presentation about the agile concept the team chose.

The teams went through 3 sprints:

Sprint 0 (15 minutes): setting up

Self-organized team formation. Selection of scrum master & product owner (+ additional roles?). Discussion between product owners and area product owner

Sprint 1 (20 minutes): product design and plan

project charting: each team makes a plan of how they’ll create a presentation on their concept
teams are free to choose any method of presentation: drawing, powerpoint, role play, sketching, dancing, etc

Sprint 2 (25 minutes): research

the product owners have a meeting with the area product owner to form the overall product plan (timeboxed to 15 minutes)the teams start research and discussions on their concept collect case studies find information about the specific concept (visuals, theory, models, etc)exchange experiences with the concept

Retro: 3 minutes

Sprint 3 (20 minutes): create the presentation

Teams work on their presentationThey can continue research and collecting materials needed for their presentationWhere required, product owners have communication with their area product owner

Retro: 3 minutes

Demo: 5-8 minutes per team (depending on the size of the total group & number of teams)

Chaos

The big challenge in this experiment was how to coordinate the different presentations of all teams into 1 overall presentation. Pepe was running around, sweating, in the first 10 minutes. The 2 things that I observed (applied to real projects) in the process:

Read more to know my observations and experiment here.

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